Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar on Thursday defended the government’s decision to grant permission to Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) to hold a rally in Islamabad despite the imposition of Section 144 ahead of PTI’s planned November 2 lockdown.
“DPC sought permission from capital administration ahead of their rally,” Nisar said while addressing a police gathering in Islamabad. “When they asked for permission, the administration did not allow the same place or the number of people [in the procession] that they had asked for. However, the organisation agreed with the terms of the administration and did not object,” he added.
DPC is not a proscribed organisation, it comprises of Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-Q, Jamait Ulema-e-Islami Samiul Haq group, Nisar added.
In May this year, DPC – an alliance of various religious and political groups such as Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) – revived its activities. The council earlier played a crucial role in persuading the government to revisit ties with the United States in 2011 following the Salala incident. DPC held rallies in Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir on October 27 and 28 to criticise Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir.
Nisar felicitated Islamabad police for “proving that no armed group could impose its decisions on the federal capital. “I congratulate you for maintaining the writ of the Constitution and law,” he said.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had called for a mass protest towards Islamabad on November 2 to push the rulers to order a judicial investigation of Panama Papers leaks. Chairman PTI Imran Khan withdrew the sit-in after the Supreme Court formed a commission to probe the leaks.
Islamabad, however, witnessed protests and clashes inside and at entry points as protesters attempted to reach the federal capital.
The interior minister also took Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak to task for “politicising the issue of personnel’s deployment to stop his convoy headed to Islamabad.”
“The Frontier Corps doesn’t only belong to the PML-N or any other political party but it is a force of the entire Pakistan, Nisar said. “Some 400 personnel of FC faced and battled more than 8,000 protesters.”
“I will offer a protocol to you and security more than that given to Punjab CM if you ever visit Islamabad as a provincial chief minister,” Nisar added. “But if you’ll ever come to the federal capital to wreak a chaos here, you will be dealt like the rest of the protesters,” he added.